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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Streets of Seoul, Part VIII: Chungmu Avenue (Chungmuro)


Chungmuro (Hanja: 忠武路) refers to an avenue 0.8 km (half-mile) in length and 10∼20m in width and the area nearby the street, located in Seoul Jung-gu. This avenue connected from Cheonggye 3-ga, Cheonggyecheon Stream at Pildong 1-ga to Chungmuro Station (KORAIL-Seoul Metro Lines 3/4 - Stations 331/423) and Toegyero (Toegye Avenue) at Ipjeong-dong

Chungmuro is a legal precinct for two administrative precincts in Seoul Jung-gu: Myeongdong and Pildong. Chungmuro 1~2-ga cover the Myeongdong Administrative Precinct while Chungmuro 3~5-ga cover the Pildong administrative precinct.

The avenue is originated from five notable areas in Southern Sector of Hanseong (Old name of Seoul) during Joseon Period (1392~1910) which are:
* Myeongnyebang (명례방/明禮坊)
* Hoehyeonbang (회현방/會賢坊)
* Hundobang (훈도방/薰陶坊)
* Nakseonbang (낙선방/樂善坊)
* Myeongcheolbang (명철방/明哲坊) 

Four years after Japan annexed Korean Empire, it is previously known as Honmachi 1~5-chome (Korean: Bonjeong 1~5-jeongmok/본정 1~5정목/本町 1~5丁目). In 1946, Honmachi is renamed as Chungmuro - bestowed from Chungmugong, the posthumous title of Korean Admiral Yi Sunshin, a defender who saves Korea from Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Japanese Imjin Invasion (1592~1598). Chungmugong means "martial subject of loyalty." The last syllable "ro" refers to road or avenue in Korean. As you can see in Korean Republic Postal Code Directory, the postal codes for Chungmuro 1~5-ga are from 100-011 to 100-015.

Since the 1960s, Chungmuro has been known as the street of culture, artists, and film industry. Dansungsa, the first movie theaters of Korea is also situated in the area. Since the establishment in 1907, the theater has been in today near Jongno 3-ga Station.

Nowadays many film studios moved from Chungmuro to Seoul Gangnam-gu which is popular on Gangnam Style phenomenon, Chungmuro still symbolizes the Korean film industry and continues to be used as a metonym for it.

The Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul (서울충무로국제영화제/Seoul Chungmuro Gukje Yeonghwaje/CHIFFS) was born in Chungmuro, the heart of Korean cinema, to provide a meeting place for movies from the past, present, and future. CHIFFS drew much attention from the outset due to its distinguished programs that focused on classic movies. It has now evolved into being a representative festival in Seoul by facilitating communication between generations and between public audiences and the people that make movies.


Legend:
Cheonggye 3-ga via Cheonggyecheon - Eulji Avenue (Euljiro) via Euljiro 3-ga Station - Four Intersections of Myeongbo (Myeongbo Sageori) - Chungmu Avenue 2nd Street (Chungmuro 2-gil) - Toegye Avenue (Toegyero) via Chungmuro Station